Padar Island is the third largest island in the Komodo National Park. It is located on the South Central side of the park, between Komodo and Rinca Islands.
In the past, Padar was one of the islands in the Komodo National Park, where Komodo dragons roam. Nowadays, they are rarely seen. Due to illegal hunting activities by poachers, the deer and wild boar population had significantly declined. Consequently, the Komodos could not find prey for food. So, they either died or migrated to a neighboring island, Rinca. Nowadays, in the absence of the dragons, the population of other wild life, such as wild boars, has gradually recovered..
Despite the absence of Komodo dragons Padar Island is still a worthwhile destination. It is endowed with panoramic beauty of rolling hills and beaches illuminated by the sunrays, making it a paradise for photographers. Last but not least, taking your time to witness the sunrise and sunset on Padar Island is extremely rewarding.
Kalong Island is covered by mangroves. Mangroves provide a habitat for important marine species, it helps stabilize the seafloor, and filter pollutants. Consequently, it has an important role in the balance of nature, in particular the sea. True to its name “Kalong”, which means “Bat”, it is home for a large population of bats. Therefore, it is recommended to visit the island at dusk because during the day they are asleep while hanging from the three branches.
The waning sun forms the background of millions of bats. As the sun disappears they fly energetically and noisily swarming toward Labuan Bajo. This moment is scheduled to let you witness the display of bats when they come out of the island.
Komodo Island has a beach entirely covered by “pink” sand, one of only seven in the world. The sand appears pink because it is a mixture of white and red sand, the latter formed by tiny Foraminifera shells. With a few trees along the beach providing shaded areas, this stretch of coastline makes an excellent place to relax or enjoy snorkeling or diving in the crystal clear waters. You may see a striped clown fish nestled among the protective tentacles of its sea anemone host, or see a grouper lazily swimming by a flamboyant soft coral.
Rinca Island, the second biggest island in the Komodo National Park, is located in East Nusa Tenggara Province within the West Manggarai Regency. This island is famous for Komodo Dragons and other wildlife such us wild pigs, buffaloes, long tailed macaques, and many kind of birds. Rinca Island is a good place to view Komodo Dragons. The natural environment on this island is preserved and undisturbed, due to its sparse population.
Batu Bolong is one of the best-known diving sites in the Komodo National Park. It is actually an underwater mount formed by a rock formation extending from bottom of the sea towards its pinnacle that appears above the surface of the water. The pinnacle has a small hole, hence its name”Batu Bolong” where “Batu” means “rock” and “Bolong” means “hole”. The surface of the rock has crevices covered by colorful hard and soft corals and home of invertebrates and numerous coral reef fishes.
The cave is located in the off the beaten path place called Rangko Village close to Labuan Bajo. It is a rocky cavern containing crystal clear water pools. Because of the high concentration of salt in the pool water, the afternoon sunlight entering the cave lit the water to a glistening turquoise color. You can swim in the pool to view the stalactites and stalagmites in the cavern. In addition, because of the highly salt content of the water in the pool it is possible to float on it without a floater.
The island of Kanawa, only some 15 km from the burgeoning fishermen’s village of Flores is a gem. It is fringed with a bed of coral reefs teeming with colorful fishes. Its turquoise water is exceptionally calm and clear. Swimming and snorkeling are the most popular family activities here. Dive into the sea from the jetty, and meet schools of fish that cloud the stilts. Time would pass so quietly as you are busy with all of these beach activities.
The island of Kanawa has two bulging hills with fantastic panoramic view from the pinnacle. The island’s area is approximately 32 hectares. It is a hideout, hidden from, yet so close to, the burgeoning harbor of Labuan Bajo. Amongst sparsely beach vegetation that grows between a rocky hill and turquoise water, the eco-friendly property is a delightful surprise. It’s a seamless haven.
Makassar Reef or locally called Karang Makassar, also known as Manta Point, is a stretch of reef where mantas are to be found – either solitaire or in a group. Most of the waters are shallow enough to snorkel and see the mantas. But there are also areas deep enough to dive and linger quietly at the bottom of the sea observe the mantas.
Situated between the islands of Komodo and Tatawa strong currents rush through a narrow strait, which attracts mantas. In the Komodo National Park, although diving is a highly recommended activity, divers must beware of the strong currents.